The Blood Red Indian Summer

by David Handler | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9780312648350 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/24/2019
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, January 24, 2019
I got this ex-library hardcover from Better World Books. It's another entry in the Berger and Mitry mystery series which started with The Cold Blue Blood; this one comes in between Shimmering Blonde Sister and Snow White Christmas Cookie.

As usual, the book opens with a chapter about the crime itself, with a terrified woman fleeing an attacker and taking desperate steps to avoid further assault. We aren't told who these people are, so once the story proper kicks in, there's a game of "which one of these characters is going to be the victim and which the attacker".

The setup here is a bit unusual for the conservative little Connecticut-coast town: a celebrity football player with a hair-trigger temper and a penchant for violence has rented one of the beach-front homes and has moved in with family and friends, setting up security fencing in disregard of zoning laws and generally raising the hackles of the locals. (Some of the locals' hackles are also affected by the fact that their new neighbors are black; up to this point, Des Mistry herself has been one of the few people of color in town, and the only one on the police force.) The football player is on suspension for allegedly injuring a man in a bar fight; the man himself is on the scene with lawyer and loads of press, accusing the football player of assaulting his girlfriend and beating him for protesting this, but the evidence suggests the guy's just looking for a payout.

But there is a victim here, and it's someone close to the football player. Is his attempt to turn over a new leaf genuine or has he committed a truly heinous crime? Or is this vengeance by someone who feels wronged - or is it something else altogether?

I was a bit disappointed to find that I'd guessed the criminal earlier than our heroes did, despite their considerable experience with crimes. Granted, it wasn't the kind of thing one would *want* to believe, but I'd have thought an investigator would have looked there earlier than they did.

If the mystery itself wasn't quite up to scratch, I did enjoy the story, especially the scenes where Mitch and Des are suffering severe anxiety over the first meeting-of-the-parents: Des' terrifying father (who's been off his game after recovering from heart surgery, but is still a force to be reckoned with) and Mitch's delightfully quirky parents (who moved from New York to Florida a while back and are back in the area for what Mitch fears must be something health-related) have a rather awkward meeting, but - allowing for the interruption of the criminal investigation and a storm-caused power-outage - get along better than expected, and some adorable scenes ensue.

The book was a bit lighter than usual on movie quips, though the ones that appeared were choice, from Mitch's selections for a Halloween-themed movie-recommendation article to his delight in finding that one of the football player's crew is a bit of a movie-maven himself. [Side note: among the films mentioned was The Maze from 1953, one I don't think I've ever seen - and one that was based on a Maurice Sandoz book that was illustrated by Salvadore Dali (!).]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, October 8, 2021

Released 1 wk ago (10/8/2021 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm adding this to the Crime Scene/Mystery bookbox (bookbox journal with list of choices and replacements here); the box will be on its way to its next stop soon.

*** Released for the 2021 Tick Tock challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2021 Spook-tacular challenge. ***

Journal Entry 3 by waternixie at Everett, Washington USA on Thursday, October 14, 2021
From the Crime Scene book box. I'll be passing this on.

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